FACT FINDERS: 3G Shutdown starts Tuesday

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 7:15 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - After about 20 years, The sun is setting on 3G. However, this could affect more than just 3G users. Some 4G users could be impacted as well.

AT&T is first to retire its 3G network Tuesday with T-Mobile to follow next month and Verizon by the end of the year. This impacts many 3G devices like phones, tablets, home security systems, older toys, car security systems, and medical alerts to name a few.

However, local tech expert Andy Taylor of TechTalk Radio says this may even impact some 4G users as well.

“An older 4G smart phone that does not support Voice Over LTE and that’s really important,” said Taylor. “These are the older devices, maybe when 4G first came out, you may want to talk to your carrier and find out will this be supported because those will also be shutting down.”

If you have a pay-as-you-go phone, that may no longer work.

“This is going to affect other carriers like Boost and some of those that use the AT&T network. So, if you’ve got a Boost mobile phone, Cricket, or some of the other services that have been out there that have been using 3G from those carriers, that’s something to think about,” he said.

Many simply may not know if their devices will be affected. So, how can you check?

“If you’re not sure if you’re on 3G, fire up your smart phone. Take a look at it. You’ll see in the top left hand corner you may see LTE, you might see 4G, 5G, or you might see 3G and if you do, that’s when you want to start making those plans.”

If your cell phone or another device is no longer working, Taylor says it is best to contact the company to see about an upgrade. It is also important to note, it may appear your 3G device is still working but it actually might not be. Your security system, for example, may look like it is functioning on your end but it may not be communicating with the central service to notify them in case of emergency.

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